Sunday, September 3, 2017

300-plus Pastors, Evangelical Leaders Urge Protection of DACA Recipients

WASHINGTON, D.C. — As Americans head to church this Sunday morning, hundreds of pastors from 40 states are urging President Trump to preserve Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) and work with Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to protect Dreamers.

More than 300 pastors and evangelical leaders have signed on to the letters to the president, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) that leaders of the Evangelical Immigration Table released late last week.

The following are quotes from pastors and evangelical leaders across the country who signed on to the letters:

Bethany Anderson, Initiative Director, Solidarity, Fullerton, California:“I signed on to the Evangelical Immigration Table’s letters for Dreamers because I believe Dreamers represent the very best of us. As a community, they embody resilience, courage and hard work, and without Dreamers, my family and community would not be what it is today. If DACA is rescinded and we don't have a legislative solution in place, we would be abandoning a valuable part of our community, and my faith in Jesus does not allow me to sit by and let that happen. My faith compels me to stand with and amplify the voice of the vulnerable, and I am committed to do that alongside Dreamers.”

Félix Cabrera, Co-Founder, Hispanic Baptist Pastors Alliance, and Lead Pastor, Iglesia Bautista Central, Oklahoma City:“To end the DACA program now would be immoral, violating the trust of young immigrants, including those within my congregation and many other Hispanic Southern Baptists throughout the country, who trusted the federal government when it asked them to register and provide their personal information. It would also be economically disastrous, forcing the laying off of hundreds of thousands of trained employees, leaving both their employers and the employees in an incredibly difficult spot. It could trigger a domino effect that harms many citizens — as well as the Dreamers and their families — when those who have lost their jobs would struggle to pay rent or a mortgage payment, miss car payments, be forced to withdraw from college or graduate school, and have trouble providing basic food and clothing for their families. Rather than taking another step that will exacerbate ethnic and political divisions in our nation, I pray that President Trump and congressional leaders from both parties will work together to pass legislation to protect Dreamers, and, in the process, help to unify our nation.”

Alan Cross, Missional Strategist, Montgomery Baptist Association, and Executive Director, Community Development Initiatives, Montgomery, Alabama:“I signed the Evangelical Immigration Table letters to President Trump and congressional leaders because I believe that Dreamers are victims of our broken immigration system, and that biblical justice requires us to speak on behalf of those who are vulnerable and in need of protection. Immigrant Dreamers were brought here at a young age through no fault of their own and have grown up here, graduated from our high schools, work alongside of us and are part of our communities and churches. Many do not even remember their home countries. It would be unjust and immoral to remove their protection and make them subject to deportation. Jesus commands us to love our neighbor sacrificially. Young Dreamers are our neighbors. I call upon Congress to pass legislation that protects Dreamers and provides them an earned pathway to citizenship.”

Micah Fries, Senior Pastor, Brainerd Baptist Church, Chattanooga, Tennessee:“I am glad to stand in support of Dreamers. As believers in Christ, Scripture calls us to advocate on behalf of the vulnerable and marginalized. Few are more marginalized than children who did not decide to live here, but now call this their home, and yet are powerless with respect to their citizenship and fearful of being deported to a place they have likely never known as home. We certainly need a better immigration policy in the U.S., but it must begin with a commitment to protect the children who are most vulnerable and who are already among us.”

Jim Hollandsworth, Executive Director, The Path Project, Loganville, Georgia:“I’m a white, southern, evangelical Christian, and I support keeping DACA and working toward a permanent legislative solution for Dreamers. I have many friends who are Dreamers, and they make my community a better place. All they want is the opportunity to go to college and achieve their dreams — just like I did. All they know is America as their home — just like me. I signed the letter to President Trump urging him to keep DACA because I believe it’s important to let our leaders know that most Americans think Dreamers should be able to stay. Our political leaders need to make this happen.”

Joel Hunter, Senior Pastor, Northland Church, Casselberry, Florida:“I've been among many evangelical pastors urging Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform — and especially a bill such as the DREAM Act that would resolve the situation of those who came to the U.S. as children — for many years. Now there is greater urgency than ever as hundreds of thousands of young people, including many here in Central Florida, are apparently at risk of losing their employment authorization and their protection from deportation. Congress needs to pass legislation to protect these Dreamers as soon as possible, and I'd urge the president to refrain from taking any action on DACA until they do so.”

Lynne Hybels, Advocate for Global Engagement, Willow Creek Community Church, South Barrington, Illinois:“Our church is deeply invested in serving the immigrant community in the Chicagoland area. We’ve hosted workshops helping dozens of brave young people to apply for the DACA program. We’ve witnessed firsthand the hope that the DACA program has brought to individuals who have wanted nothing more than the chance to pursue an education and lead a productive life, just as our own children have done. To end the program now, without action from Congress first, would be devastating — for them and for the communities that benefit from their work, ingenuity and courage.”

Tyler Johnson, Lead Pastor, Redemption Church, Gilbert, Arizona:“Followers of Jesus are called to do justly and love mercy. We are to open our mouths for the mute and destitute. Signing these Evangelical Immigration Table letters is saying that we are standing on the side of justice with DACA kids.”

Jason Lee, Baptist Minister and Director of the Acts 17 Initiative, Atlanta:“As a Bible-believing Christian who seeks to obey the call of Christ to love my neighbor, to do justice and love mercy, and stand for the vulnerable, it is clear to me that we must find a way to protect our Dreamer neighbors and find a workable solution so that they may stay in the U.S.

“Dreamers were brought to the U.S. illegally at young ages and are victims of a broken system through no fault of their own. Dreamers need to stay as they are American in every way but the paperwork. Most Dreamers stepped forward in good faith as they became DACA recipients, and we must keep our promise to them, and we must speak and work on their behalf to find a workable solution. I signed the statement for these reasons and am compelled as we cannot act unjustly and deport the American promise that so many Dreamers represent.”

Rich Nathan, Senior Pastor, Vineyard Columbus, Columbus, Ohio:“Vineyard Columbus has helped hundreds of amazing young people to have a shot at the American Dream because of DACA. Ending DACA would destroy Dreamers’ futures, split their families and tell the world that America no longer strives to be ‘the last best hope’ of the earth.”

Tim Moore, Senior Pastor, Walk Worthy Baptist Church, Austin, Texas:“Dreamers deserve citizenship, but permanent legal status would be a good start for this Republican Congress. If they can't do that, they're likely to default to their historical nativist tendency where good and deserving people were once considered to be ‘mongrelizing’ America with ‘bad genes’ or were too foreign, too Jewish, too Catholic or Orthodox ever to be worthy to assimilate to the American way. Congress, allow these deserving Dreamers to be Americans!”

Matthew Soerens, U.S. Director of Church Mobilization, World Relief, Aurora, Illinois:“At World Relief, we partner with more than 1,000 local churches across the U.S. to serve immigrants. Many of these local churches have Dreamers who are members of their congregations. We have seen the hope that the DACA program has provided them, allowing them to work lawfully, help support their families, and also serve their churches and communities. To withdraw that status now, before Congress has passed long overdue legislation, would be devastating — for these brave young people and their families, but also for the churches of which they are an integral part. My prayer and my plea to President Trump and to leaders in Congress is that they would work together to find a legislative solution, rather than prematurely terminating the DACA program.”

Joel Tooley, Executive Director, Nazarene Centro de Refugio, Melbourne, Florida:“As a follower of Jesus, I cannot imagine standing in any other position but that of advocating for those who have been caught up in the fray of an immigration system that holds the vulnerable hostage, gives way for cheaters and lawbreakers to move freely and perpetuates racist, xenophobic rhetoric every time an election draws near. For the cause of Christ, I stand with Dreamers.”

Rondell Treviño, Director, Memphis Immigration Project, and Director of Youth Ministries, Woodland Presbyterian Church, Memphis, Tennessee:“The recipients of DACA bring great determination and accomplishments, further making the United States a better and more vibrant country. Not only that, but they are a part of churches bringing a faith in Jesus that is refreshing and needed today. Therefore, as a follower of Christ, I felt obligated to sign the Evangelical Immigration Table letters because Dreamers deserve to be protected and viewed as people to love, not problems to solve.”

Thursday, March 12, 2015

U.S. immigrant population projected to rise, even as share falls among Hispanics, Asians

By 2060, Whites and Blacks will comprise nation's foreign-born growth.By , PEW Research

The nation’s foreign-born population is projected to reach 78 million by 2060, making up 18.8% of the total U.S. population, according to new Census Bureau population projections. That would be a new record for the foreign-born share, with the bureau projecting that the previous record high of 14.8% in 1890 will be passed as soon as 2025. Yet while Asian and Hispanic immigrants are projected to continue to be the main sources of U.S. immigrant population growth, the new projections show that the share of the foreign born is expected to fall among these two groups. Today, 66.0% of U.S. Asians are immigrants, but that share is predicted to fall to 55.4% by 2060. And while about a third of U.S. Hispanics (34.9%) are now foreign-born, the Census Bureau projects that this share too will fall, to 27.4% in 2060. These declines are due to the growing importance of births as drivers of each group’s population growth. Already, for Hispanics, U.S. births drive 78% of population growth.

Meanwhile, foreign-born shares among whites and blacks are expected to rise. Today, 8.9% of those who identify as black were born in another country, but that number is projected to almost double – to 16.5% – by 2060. Among whites, 4.1% are foreign-born today, but that share is projected to double to 8.1% in 2060.

The U.S. today has more immigrants than any other nation. As the nation’s immigrant population grows, so too will the number of children who have at least one immigrant parent. As of 2012, these second generation Americans made up 11.5% of the population, and that share is expected to rise to 18.4% by 2050, according to Pew Research Center projections.

This is the first time in 14 years the Census Bureau has made projections of the foreign-born population. Predicting future immigration and birth trends is a tricky process, and the bureau has substantially changed its projections from year to year in light of reduced immigration and birth rates.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Gov Jerry Brown fails to appoint any Latinos to the LA County Superior Court

     SACRAMENTO, CA -- In his continuing tradition of not appointing Latinos to his administration, Gov. Jerry Brown did not appoint any Latinos to the six judge vacancies he filled on July 12, 2013 for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.  Here is the official announcement:

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Study: Elderly Hispanics and Blacks on cusp of poverty

Census Bureau developed the Supplemental Poverty Measure to get a more comprehensive appraisal of family income and expenses.
Economic Policy Institute Briefing

WASHINGTON D.C. -- The majority of elderly blacks and Hispanics are economically vulnerable, at 63.5 percent and 70.1, respectively, a new Economic Policy Institute briefing paper finds. In Financial security of elderly Americans at risk: Proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare could make the majority of seniors ‘economically vulnerable,’ Elise Gould, EPI director of health policy research, and David Cooper, EPI economic analyst, explain that because official poverty statistics do not account for seniors’ increased health costs, they mask the true vulnerability of the elderly population. Using a more comprehensive assessment of seniors’ living expenses, they find that nearly half of America’s seniors, especially minorities and women, are just one bad economic shock away from falling into poverty. As such, any proposed changes to Social Security and Medicare must be evaluated not just for their impact on future budget deficits, but for their impact on living standards of the elderly.

“After working hard their entire lives, millions of our elderly are struggling to pay for basic needs like food, medicine and housing, even with Social Security and Medicare,” said the report’s co-author Elise Gould. “As such, policymakers should consider the dire consequences proposals to restructure these programs would have on our parents and grandparents, shifting more costs unto them when many are already barely making ends meet.”

Researchers and public officials have long recognized that the official federal poverty line does not reflect families’ real living expenses. Because of this, the Census Bureau developed the Supplemental Poverty Measure (SPM), a poverty metric that takes a more comprehensive appraisal of both a family’s expenses—accounting for regional differences in prices— and available resources, including government assistance programs. However, even this improved measure still only calculates income necessary for the most basic level of subsistence, and because it is designed to reflect the needs of the average American, it does not address the unique needs of elderly Americans. As such, the authors use the Elder Economic Security Standard Index (Elder Index), an income standard developed specifically for the elderly by Wider Opportunities for Women (WOW) to determine what level of income represents actual economic security for elderly Americans. They find that elderly “economic vulnerability” can be defined by having an income less than 2.0 times the SPM threshold. Under this more appropriate threshold of economic security, the authors find that 48.0 percent of the seniors live with dangerously low levels of income, varying considerably across different groups of elderly Americans.

Comparing the elderly by age group—65 to 79 years old versus 80 years old and older—shows that the older elderly have a far higher rate of economic vulnerability (58.1 percent) than people age 65 to 79 (44.4 percent). At 52.6 percent, elderly women are more likely to be economically insecure than men (41.9 percent). Meanwhile, though blacks and Hispanics constitute just 15.4 percent of the elderly population, they comprise over one-fifth (21.9 percent) of the vulnerable elderly, at 63.5 percent and 70.1 percent, respectively. Lastly, the share of vulnerable elderly varies across all 50 states and the District of Columbia, from a low of 35.4 percent in North Dakota to a high of 59 percent in the District of Columbia. Not surprisingly, states with large minority populations—like the District of Columbia and California (55.8 percent)—tend to have the highest levels of elderly vulnerability. Hawaii, Georgia, Tennessee, and New York each have at least 52 percent of seniors living below two times the supplemental poverty line. North Dakota (35.4 percent), South Dakota (37.2 percent), Nebraska (40.5 percent), and Wisconsin (40.6 percent) have the lowest shares of vulnerable elderly.

Because lower-income elderly households depend heavily on social programs such as Social Security and Medicare, changes to these programs should be viewed through the lens of how they would affect economically vulnerable seniors. From 2009 to 2011, medical out-of-pocket costs equaled 30.1 percent of elderly families total cash income, on average, or about 14 percent of total family income. Proposals to shift additional health costs onto seniors, such as House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan’s plan to convert Medicare into a voucher system, would drive more seniors into poverty. Under Ryan’s proposed changes to Medicare, the predicted increase in seniors’ out-of-pocket health costs would raise the share of economically vulnerable elderly from 48.0 percent to 56.4 percent, an increase of almost 3.5 million more vulnerable seniors. Similarly, proposals to change the calculation of cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs) to Social Security to a chained consumer price index (CPI) would result in 132,000 more economically vulnerable seniors.

“We can dispel the myth that most seniors are ‘greedy geezers’ with lavish retirements. Almost half are either in poverty or close to it,” said Cooper. “We shouldn’t be cutting the benefits that are barely adequate as is, effectively legislating more of them into poverty.”

Monday, May 27, 2013

For some Latinos, serving the military wasn't enough

“damn ...couldn’t help but to break down and cry...
This time its tears of Joy...
Even though I don’t have my ‘lil “chikiboo...”
She’s just the most precious ‘lil girl and she loves me...regardless of who I am or where I am...
It feels good...
Spc B Deported..Man there ain’t no Love better than a child’s love...” - Hector Barajas, US Army 82nd Airborne Spc. - deported
From Banashed Veterans

Hector Barajas, US Army 82nd Airborne Spc.
Hector Barajas, served the US Army 82nd Airborne Spc.  He was a legal permanent resident at the
time and proudly served from November 1995 to November 2001.  During his service, he received two honorable discharges and two AAM´s (Army Achievement Medal),  a Good Conduct Medal, a National Defense Army Service Medal and Humanitarian Medal.  He proudly served with the 407th Golden Griffins C Co, ·307th FSB Renegades C Co., WBAMC.

Shortly after his discharge from the military he got in trouble with the law, served time, but during his incarceration he received multiple diplomas and most of all, a rehabilitation.

Upon his release Hector had an immigration hold, a legal process to deport him. He could not believe the country he had proudly served would turn his back on him.

In a very short time, Hector was chained and flown to Arizona by the US Marshals, without any legal help and no one to turn to. During his quick hearing, Hector represented himself to no avail.  He was deported in 2003 to a land he didn't know, speaking a language he felt was foreign.

For six months Hector appealed his case, arguing he was a US National and that he could not be deported because of his military oath and permanent allegiance to the United States. The judge thanked Hector for his service, explained that if the country was in conflict status or if Hector was a combat veteran, things would be different, but that was not the case and ordered him to be deported.

Today, Hector writes about his life in a foreign land on his facebook page and shares his torment and tears of missing his daughter and his country.

Regardless of status, many US military veterans, including combat veterans, are facing what Hector Barajas has been fighting over the last decade, the unjust deportation of someone who was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his country.

To many veterans, the US government denies their claims of being a National or an American, even though they have proudly worn a uniform of the United States military.

Today, Hector knows that while he served in the military, there was never a distinction of where he was born and where his heart was at. He still believes in this country and proudly states he is a US Veteran. No matter where he goes he shares "I will always be a United States Veteran."

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

33.7 Million Hispanics of Mexican origin in U.S.

Mexican origin Hispanics account for 64% of Latinos in U.S.

Image by Hispanic Link
WASHINGTON D.C. -- A record 33.7 million Hispanics of Mexican origin resided in the United States in 2012, according to a new analysis of Census Bureau data by the Pew Research Center. This estimate includes 11.4 million immigrants born in Mexico and 22.3 million born in the U.S. who self-identify as Hispanics of Mexican origin.

Mexicans are by far the largest Hispanic-origin population in the U.S., accounting for nearly two-thirds (64%) of the U.S. Hispanic population in 2012. Hispanics of Mexican origin are also a significant portion of the U.S. population, accounting for 11% overall.

The size of the Mexican-origin population in the U.S. has risen dramatically over the past four decades as a result of one of the largest mass migrations in modern history. In 1970, fewer than one million Mexican immigrants lived in the U.S. By 2007 it reached a peak of 12.5 million. Since then, it has declined as the arrival of new Mexican immigrants has slowed significantly. Today, 35% of Hispanics of Mexican origin were born in Mexico. And while the remaining two-thirds (65%) were born in the U.S., 52% of them have at least one immigrant parent.

Before the 1980s, growth in the nation's Mexican-origin population came mostly from Hispanics of Mexican origin born in the U.S. However, from 1980 to 2000, more growth in the Mexican-origin population in the U.S. could be attributed to the arrival of Mexican immigrants. That pattern reversed from 2000 to 2010 as births surpassed immigration as the main driver of population growth.

The 11.4 million Mexican immigrants who live in the U.S. make up the single largest country of origin group by far among the nation's 40 million immigrants. The next largest foreign-born population group, from greater China at 2 million, is less than one-fifth the size of the Mexican-born population in the U.S.

Mexican immigrants comprise by far the largest share of the unauthorized immigrant population in the U.S. More than half (55%) of the 11.1 million immigrants who are in the country illegally are from Mexico.

Internationally, the U.S. is far and away the top destination for immigrants from Mexico. Fully 96% of Mexicans who leave Mexico migrate to the U.S. Worldwide, nine percent of people born in Mexico live in the U.S. In addition, the U.S. has more immigrants from Mexico alone than any other country has immigrants.

The characteristics of Mexican immigrants living in the U.S. have changed over the decades. Compared with 1990, Mexican immigrants in 2011 were less likely to be male, considerably older, better educated and have been in the U.S. for longer.

This report includes demographic, income and economic characteristics of the foreign-born and native-born Mexican-origin populations in the U.S. and compares them with the characteristics of all Hispanics. It covers immigration status, language, age, marital status, fertility, regional dispersion, educational attainment, income, poverty status, health insurance and homeownership.

The report, "A Demographic Portrait of Mexican-Origin Hispanics in the United States," was written by Ana Gonzalez-Barrera, research associate with the Pew Hispanic Center, and Mark Hugo Lopez, associate director of the Pew Hispanic Center. It is available at the Pew Research Center's website,

Pew Research Center is a nonpartisan source of data and analysis. It does not take advocacy positions. Its Hispanic Center, founded in 2001, seeks to improve understanding of the U.S. Hispanic population and to chronicle Latinos' growing impact on the nation.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

13th Annual Cesar E. Chavez Youth Leadership Conference

Free event offers youth resources to prepare for college

DAVIS, CA – Close to 500 elementary, middle and high school students will converge on the Cesar E. Chavez Youth Leadership Conference on Saturday, April 13, 2013 in Freeborn Hall at University of California, Davis in Davis, California. The conference will include an Arts, Education, Health and Job Fair. For over a decade, this event has provided guidance to youth seeking to pursue higher education and grant information.

This unique educational forum allows 6th to 12th grade students and their parents an opportunity to learn how to pursue secondary educational and grant opportunities. College recruiters will be available to answer student questions. There will also be information designed to empower families to become stronger advocates for their children's education.

The conference is open to people of all ages. It is scheduled from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm at the UC Davis – Freeborn Hall located at 1 Shields Ave, Davis, CA 95616. Approximately 700 students and 200 parents attended the 2012 conference. The event kicks off with registration and a chorizo burrito breakfast, pan dulce and hot chocolate.

From 12:30 pm to 2:55 pm, there will be a special program, “Embrace the Legacy of Cesar Chavez” lunchtime celebration and talent show. Performers include folkloric dancers, Aztec dancers, and trick roping cowboy and whip master James Barrera. There will also be carnita and vegetarian burritos for conference attendees to feast upon. There will also be a live theater presentation, "Nightmare on Puberty St." by the Kaiser Educational Theater Program. That presentation begins at 9:30 am.

The conference is free and pre-registration is not required but strongly recommended. Pre-registration is available by downloading conference information at The conference was founded 11 years ago by Rene Aguilera, a Roseville City School District Board Trustee. Aguilera and his family continue to organize promote this free event to youth throughout Northern California, the Central Valley and the Bay Area.

The conference traditionally kicks off a series of Sacramento-area events related to California’s Cesar Chavez Holiday. Cesar Chavez was co-founder and president of the United Farm Workers (UFW) union. He led the union from the 1960s to his death at age 66 in 1993. The UFW was instrumental in organizing farm workers in several states. In 2000, Governor Gray Davis signed SB 984, asking that school districts give an hour of instruction in all schools around Chavez's March 31 birthday.

The youth conference continues to recognize the UFW founder's lessons on non-violence, self-sacrifice and social justice. Students are encouraged to engage in some form of public service appropriate for their age and grade as part of the Cesar Chavez Day of Service of Learning.

“In times of recession, education is the key to building a road to a career,” said Aguilera. “That is why we provide this conference so that students and their families can discover scholarship, college and other educational services that are available to them. The Cesar E. Chavez Youth Leadership Conference supplements what most school districts do on or around March 31 – his birthday and acts as a primer for learning. We ask parents, students, educators and business and community leaders to come out and volunteer their time to teach and learn from each other on both days.

“The overall goal of the conference is to help youths learn how to be community leaders; how to become involved; how to learn about social and political issues; and how to pursue educational opportunities beyond high school. Topics will include student financial aid, scholarships and career information including law, journalism, military, teaching, social welfare, art, music and dance, medicine, law enforcement and professional athletics and many others.”

Hosts include: the University of California, Davis; the Hispanic Empowerment Association of Roseville; and the California Latino School Boards Association.

For more information on the Cesar Chavez Youth Leadership Conference, call Rene Aguilera at (916) 532-5998, or fax registration applications to H.E.A.R. at (916) 782-2040. Or students can take their completed application to their counselor and ask them to fax it. Visit the conference web site at